Muscle Nerve. 2013 May;47(5):760-2 doi: 10.1002/mus.23720. 2013 Mar 29.

7-T MRI of the spinal cord can detect lateral corticospinal tract abnormality in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

Cohen-Adad J, Zhao W, Keil B, Ratai EM, Triantafyllou C, Lawson R, Dheel C, Wald LL, Rosen BR, Cudkowicz M, Atassi N.


INTRODUCTION: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder affecting lower and upper motor neurons. Degeneration of the lateral corticospinal tract (CST) is a key finding in ALS cervical spinal cord autopsies. We hypothesized that in vivo ultra-high-field MRI of the cervical spinal cord can detect abnormality in the CST.
METHODS: A patient with ALS (disease duration 23 months) and a healthy control were scanned at 7-T MRI using a 19-channel coil. Multi-echo T2*-weighted imaging was performed in the spinal cord, covering C2-C6. Cross-sectional resolution was 0.37 × 0.37 mm(2).
RESULTS: We detected clear signal hyperintensity in both segments of the lateral CST in the ALS patient, which was significant when compared with the normal control subject (P CONCLUSION: We believe there are potential benefits of 7-T MRI for increased sensitivity and spatial accuracy in characterizing pathology in the spinal cord.

PMID: 23553571